Thursday, December 31, 2009

PCI hires president and CEO

The Professional Culinary Institute (PCI), Campbell, Calif., appointed chef Gary Prell as its new president and CEO. Prell joins PRI from hospitality company Centerplate, where he was vice president. He also previously worked for The Art Institutes.

"I am so excited to join the team at PCI and to be a part of their future," Prell said in a statement. "The staff and faculty's passion to impart knowledge and make a difference in the lives of their students is unparalleled. They are truly successful."

PCI provides career training in the hospitality field focusing on culinary arts, baking and pastry arts, wine sommelier training and hospitality management. For more information, visit

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Bronwen Weber to teach cake sculptures at FPS

Bronwen Weber, award-winning baker and pastry chef of Frosted Art Bakery in Dallas, will teach a three-day cake sculpting class at The French Pastry School of Chicago in January. Weber will demonstrate her signature cake carving and fondant modeling techniques in this hands-on professional continuing education course. Students will learn such techniques as stable internal structure systems, cake construction and carving methods, covering irregularly shaped cakes in fondant, fondant modeling, chocolate modeling, sculpting and painting and airbrush techniques. Each student will create two finished showpiece projects during the class, which they will be able to take home at the end.
A cake created during the 2009 cake sculpting class*

This course, which takes place from Jan. 11 to 13, 2010, is accredited by the American Culinary Federation (ACF) for 24 Continuing Education Hours. For more information, visit

*Photo courtesy of The French Pastry School

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

HCCC to host inaugural "Sound Bites" event

Hudson County Community College, Jersey City, N.J., will host the first of a series of "Sound Bites" events on Jan. 15, 2010, a meet-and-greet gathering and buffet with blues singer and guitarist John Hammond. Hammond will be appearing at the event to speak with guests prior to his concert with the Duke Robillard Band at The Landmark Loew's Jersey Theatre that evening. The event will include a Louisiana blues-style buffet and complimentary glass of wine or beer.

"The Hudson County Community College Culinary Arts Institute/Conference Center was built to serve the many needs of the community," said HCCC president Glen Gabert in a statement. "We see 'Sound Bites' as opportunities for the community to become better acquainted with the College and the Journal Square area, meet some highly acclaimed performers, savor some of our delicious cuisine and enjoy the company of neighbors."

"Sound Bites," which has been organized in cooperation with the Journal Square Special Improvement District, will be held from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the college's Culinary Arts Institute/Conference Center. More information can be found at

Monday, December 28, 2009

Culinary technology program offered at Schoolcraft College

As technological advances make further headway in commercial kitchens, Schoolcraft College, Livonia, Mich., has responded by offering a culinary technology certificate program to train chefs in accelerated cooking methods and equipment. The Innovative Culinary Technology Certificate program is a three-course curriculum that will focus on equipment and topics like combination ovens, rapid-cook ovens, impingement, induction, holding blast chilling and freezing, sous vide, green energy use, kitchen design for various business channels, quality control and food cost savings.

Registration for the winter semester is under way, and class sizes are limited. Interested candidates can attend an open house Jan. 11 in the Culinary Arts Demonstration Lab at the main campus, where they will tour the facilities and meet the instructors. For more information, visit

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Happy holidays from FENI

Happy Holidays from the FENI Crew

Foodservice Educators Network International
12th Annual Educators Summit
February 12 to 15, 2010, in Chicago
Register at:

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Massachusetts ProStart students assist at the Guy Fieri Roadshow

Five ProStart students from Whittier Regional Vocational Technical High School in Haverhill, Mass., and their teacher, Cathie Baines, assisted in kicking off The Guy Fieri Roadshow, which began its 21-city tour in 30 days at the Lowell Memorial Auditorium on Nov. 17. The show featured cooking stations, demonstrations and behind the scenes stories from the road.

Fieri is the star of three Food Network shows and is co-owner of Johnny Garlic's (three locations) and Tex Wasabi's (two locations) of Northern California, as well as a best-selling author. He is also a member of the California Restaurant Association's Educational Foundation that promotes the ProStart curriculum developed by the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation. Whittier Regional Vocational Technical High School also uses and promotes ProStart in their culinary curriculum through the Massachusetts Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (MRAEF).

"ProStart students are the best in Massachusetts, and I knew they were my go to help for the event," Fieri said in a press release. "I couldn't wait to give them an incredible backstage experience while I blow the audience's mind!"

"The MRAEF was thrilled to coordinate this event with Guy," MRAEF Educational Coordinator Heather Carneiro said in a press release. "This is just another way in which the MRAEF helps its ProStart students prepare for their futures."

Five Whittier Regional Tech ProStart students at the kickoff of a 21-day tour of Guy Fieri Roadshow with a stage assistant and TV personality Guy Fieri

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Students can enter to win AI's Best Teen Chef scholarship, Food Network "Intern for a Day"

High school seniors with aspirations of a culinary education can enter the Best Teen Chef Competition 2010, sponsored by the International Culinary Schools at The Art Institutes (AI).

The top prize winner will earn a full-tuition scholarship toward a bachelor's degree, associate's degree, certificate or diploma program to study culinary arts at one of the more than 30 participating Art Institutes schools.

Now in its 11th year, the Best Teen Chef Competition awards more than $200,000 in tuition scholarships to AI schools to high school seniors in the U.S. and Canada interested in pursuing a career in the fast growing culinary industry.

The first-place local winners from AI schools across the country will progress to the National Best Teen Chef Final Round Competition, which will be held on May 15, 2010, at AI-Houston.

In addition to a full-tuition scholarship and the title of Best Teen Chef 2010, the national first place winner, in partnership with Food Network, will be an "Intern for a Day" at Food Network Kitchens in New York City. The winner will also receive a tour of Food Network's studios, dinner for two at a Food Network chef's restaurant and a library of Food Network Kitchens cookbooks.

To be eligible to enter the competition, high school seniors must first submit a completed Entry and Release Form by February 5, 2010, to a participating The International Culinary Schools at The Art Institutes location where they wish to enter the competition. Deadline for complete entries into the competition is February 26, 2010.

To learn how to enter the Best Teen Chef Competition 2010 and view full details, visit

Monday, December 21, 2009

Sullivan U brings kitchen learning facility to visually impaired kids

The Bakery at Sullivan University has teamed up with Visually Impaired Preschool Services Inc. (VIPS) to bring a kitchen learning facility to the VIPS center in Louisville, Ky. The ribbon cutting ceremony took place on Dec. 14, and children were invited into the facility to work with Sullivan University's The Bakery chef Robert Henry on decorating gingerbread houses. Henry will visit VIPS at least once per month to work with children in the new kitchen.
(l to r) The Bakery at Sullivan University's chef Robert Henry with VIPS executive director Diane Nelson in the new kitchen facility

The bakery gives children the opportunity to learn motor skills like measuring, mixing and pouring and adaptive living skills like washing dishes. These activities help them understand the process of food preparation. VIPS offers services to infants, toddlers and preschoolers who are visually impaired or blind and their families. For more information, visit

Friday, December 18, 2009

MSU hospitality students work and learn at IH/M&RS

Nearly 60 students from Michigan State University's School of Hospitality Business traveled to New York City Nov. 6 to 10 to work at the International Hotel/Motel & Restaurant Show (IH/M&RS). The students were selected based on their leadership and volunteer activities within MSU, as well as their academic records.

The students were responsible for the school's exhibit booth at the show all three days. In addition, they attended MSU's annual Celebration of Leadership at The Waldorf=Astoria on Nov. 7, which honored the school's Alumni Association Industry Leader of the Year and the five new inductees in its Wall of Fame. At the event, 50 of the students had the opportunity to network with young MSU Hospitality School alumni at a gathering designed for them.

The students also toured The Waldorf=Astoria, Red Lobster at Times Square, Darden Restaurant's The Capital Grille and the Harvard Club of New York City as part of a professional experiences program set up by the school's Student and Industry Resource Center. For more information, visit

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Latest Culinary Nutrition News tackles cooking for diabetics

The American Culinary Federation (ACF) Chef & Child Foundation and Clemson University, Clemson, S.C., have released the December issue of "Culinary Nutrition News: Diabetic Menu Makeover." In this month's article, the authors explain the types of diabetes and the important role that diet and meal planning play in diabetics' health. In addition, the authors point out good food choices--such as beans, citrus fruits and whole grains--and examine where these foods fall on the glycemic index. The article also addresses the growing number of children with diabetes and offers tips on cooking for kids. Free copies of the article are available at

The January issue will be released Jan. 4. The monthly series of Culinary Nutrition News articles are posted on ACF's Web site at the first Monday of each month.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Community college students working too many hours

Community College students could graduate faster and with better grades if they spent less time working at their jobs and more time studying and taking classes, according to a new report from California Public Interest Research Group (CALPIRG) called "Working too Hard to Make the Grade." Community college students recently surveyed by CALPIRG reported working an average of 23 hours per week to cover college costs, leaving them with too little time to focus on academics. Less than one-quarter of students surveyed said they felt that they were able to balance work and study well. Many survey respondents said their work hours made it difficult for them to keep up with their schoolwork, take another class or get involved on campus.

Furthermore, many community college students surveyed misunderstood the basics of financial aid, and the less they understood the less likely they were to have applied for aid. These factors could contribute to low graduation rates. Only 24 percent of community college students who intend to earn an associates degree or transfer to a four-year institution succeed in doing so within six years.

"We need to increase our investment in higher education and fund state financial aid programs adequately, so that students can afford to focus on academics," said Reid Milburn, president of the Student Senate for California Community Colleges, in a statement.

CALPIRG is a statewide, nonprofit public interest organization, with chapters at 11 campuses in California. Visit for more information.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

CIA releases French cheese e-learning module

The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) released an online learning module on French cheese called "Cooking with Fromage: Turning Comfort Food into Comfort Cuisine." The e-learning module offers a primer on French cheese and explores its compatibility with a range of American recipes. It also includes 11 downloadable recipes demonstrated by a CIA chef-instructor in streaming video (including petite chèvre pizzas, pictured below).
Petite chèvre pizzas*

In conjunction with the e-learning module, The Cheeses of France is holding a Napa Valley Escape sweepstakes, which includes a private cooking class for two with a chef-instructor at the CIA's Greystone campus, as well as round-trip airfare, a stay at Auberge du Soleil resort and spa, a champagne dinner and other activities.

To download the e-learning module and enter in the Napa Valley Escape sweepstakes, visit

*Photo credit: CIA/Terence McCarthy

Monday, December 14, 2009

WFF partners with Kellogg School of Management for executive education programming

The Women's Foodservice Forum (WFF) is partnering with the Center for Executive Women at the prestigious Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, Evanston, Ill., to offer its members enhanced educational programming. The collaboration will debut April 6 to 9, 2010, at the Annual Leadership Development Conference in Las Vegas.

"The Kellogg School of Management is renowned for making strong leaders stronger and the WFF is thrilled to be partnering with them to develop executive-level educational programming that will elevate women leaders in the foodservice industry," Mary O'Broin, WFF chair, said in a press release. "The Kellogg School's involvement in our annual conference makes it even more of a must-attend event for foodservice industry professionals wanting to advance their careers."

"The Center for Executive Women at the Kellogg School is dedicated to helping senior-level women advance to top executive positions," Victoria Husted Medvec, executive director of the center and Adeline Barry Davee Professor of Management and Organizations, said in a press release. "Partnering with the WFF is a great channel by which to impact the foodservice industry, developing the next generation of female business leaders by exposing them to top Kellogg faculty, cutting edge research and the latest business concepts."

In developing programming for the WFF's Annual Leadership Development Conference, Kellogg will inspire and help leaders in the foodservice industry elevate their careers. Kellogg and WFF will continue their partnership into the future to develop educational opportunities for varying professional tracks--from emerging leaders to executives.

For more information, visit Full event registration and schedule will be available on February 1, 2010.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Share Our Strength inducts chef-educator into Operation Frontline hall of fame

At its 25th anniversary Leadership Awards Ceremony, Share Our Strength presented its 2009 Leadership Awards to chefs, restaurants, restaurateurs, community volunteers and corporate executives who have made a significant impact on the fight to end childhood hunger in the United States. Among them were Share Our Strength's Operation Frontline 2009 Hall of Fame inductees, volunteer instructors who have taught 15 or more cooking-based nutrition courses with Operation Frontline programs around the country.

This year's Hall of Fame inductees included a chef-educator who also runs her own catering business and chairs a United Nations committee: Eva Forson, owner of African Palava in New York City.

Upon moving to the United States from Ghana some 20 years ago, Forson earned certificates in professional catering and baking from the culinary arts division of the New School University in New York City. For the past 20 years, she has used those credentials and her own childhood experience cooking with her mother in Ghana to teach classes at the Institute of Culinary Education and the culinary arts division of The New School. Forson added to her course load in 2001 when she started teaching Operation Frontline courses at City Harvest in New York City. Forson also serves as chairperson of the food committee of the United Nations African Mothers' Association.

For more information about Share Our Strength, its work to end childhood hunger by 2015 or any of its programs, visit

(l to r) Operation Frontline Hall of Fame winners: Jean Bowen, owner, Cuisine by Jean, Boulder, Colo.; Eva Forson, chef-instructor, the Institute of Culinary Education and the Culinary Arts Division of The New School, New York City, and owner, African Palava; Marilyn Matusch, retired educator, Portland, Ore.; Morris Salerno, chef-owner, Salerno's Restaurant, Flower Mound, and The Grotto, Highland Village, Texas; Kori Reed, ConAgra Foods Foundation, the national sponsor of Share Our Strength's Operation Frontline

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Sullivan University's Spendlove to lead national commission on culinary certification

Derek Spendlove (pictured, left), CEPC, CCE, AAC, baking and pastry arts chair for the National Center for Hospitality Studies (NCHS) at Sullivan University, Louisville, Ky., has been named chair of the American Culinary Federation (ACF) Certification Commission and will assume the position's responsibilities Jan. 15, 2010. Spendlove will replace current Chair Karl J. Guggenmos, AAC, university dean of culinary education at Johnson & Wales University, Providence, R.I., who will remain on the commission as past chair.

Spendlove, in his role as ACF Certification Commission chair, is responsible for upholding the standards of the most comprehensive certification program for chefs in the United States. Certification through the ACF is based on education, experience and completion of official coursework and exams. ACF certification credentials distinguish culinary professionals as leaders in the culinary field, and demonstrate skill and expertise to peers and potential employers.

Since its inception in 2007, the ACF Certification Commission has been developing, implementing and monitoring a validated process of globally recognized certifications based on skills, knowledge, integrity and equality through an achievable process for all culinary professionals. The Commission was formed in order to meet the National Commission for Certifying Agencies accreditation standards to obtain certification from the Institute for Credentialing Excellence.

The Certification Commission is comprised of 20 professionals with experience in culinary, media, marketing, management, education and government. Commission members represent many different levels of ACF certificants, including certified culinarian (CC), certified sous chef (CSC), certified chef de cuisine (CCC), certified executive chef (CEC), certified executive pastry chef (CEPC), certified culinary educator (CCE), certified culinary administrator (CCA) and certified master chef (CMC). For more information, visit

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

American Personal & Private Chef Association summit to be held in Chicago

The 2010 American Personal & Private Chef Association (APPCA) National Summit will take place Feb. 19 to 21 at The School of Culinary Arts at Kendall College in Chicago. This year's theme will be to promote the building of successful businesses and careers of personal and private chefs as the nation emerges from a recession.

Ina Pinkney, chef/owner of Ina's in Chicago, will keynote the 2010 summit to share the story of opening her restaurant. Other presenters include Maria Caranfa, R.D., director of Mintel Menu Insights; Judith Dunbar Hines, director of culinary arts and events for the City of Chicago's Department of Cultural Affairs; Renee Zonka, R.D., associate dean of Kendall College; service expert and former private chef Audrey Heckwolf of Grand Rapids Community College; and Peggy Ryan, executive chef of The Dining Room at Kendall College.

For information on registration, hotel, programming and personal-chef-training, visit

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

New TV series stars Kendall College's Koetke

Christopher Koetke, dean of The School of Culinary Arts at Kendall College, is the host of a new television series called "Let's Dish" on Live Well, a network devoted to home, health and lifestyles that launched this past spring.

"Let's Dish" was developed in response to today's hectic lifestyle for many families. On the show, Koetke demonstrates fast and easy main course meals, desserts and low-fat snacks that are good for the mind, body and soul. Food industry experts such as chefs and nutritionists also will appear in each episode of "Let's Dish."

"Between work obligations, children's extracurricular activities, and the stress of everyday life, convenience often wins out over health in the family diet," said Koetke in a statement. "My family faces the same dilemma, and that's why I was drawn to this project. By sharing some of these solutions for delicious, fast and healthy meals, I hope viewers can reduce mealtime stress, improve their quality of life and work toward a healthier and happier lifestyle for their families."

For more information or to find episodes, visit

Monday, December 7, 2009

ProStart students spotlighted on Food Network

The Food Network ran a special Dec. 5 on the National Restaurant Association's 2009 ProStart Invitational, an action-packed culinary and management competition for the top high school students enrolled in the ProStart program. Thirty-nine teams of high schoolers competed for $1.1 million in cash, prizes and scholarships. Food Network personality Guy Fieri followed the students as they raced to complete a three-course meal in one hour and then announced the winners: the team from Herndon Career Center in Missouri (previously posted about here).

Friday, December 4, 2009

French Culinary Institute founder releases culinary career book

According to Dorothy Cann Hamilton, founder of the world-renowned French Culinary Institute, your career shouldn't feel like punishment--it should reflect your passions in life. With the release of her new book Love What You Do: Building a Career in the Culinary Industry (2009, iUniverse Inc.), Hamilton provides a go-to guide for those in pursuit of a career in the culinary industry. More importantly though, her advice is universal, applicable for anyone who seeks a job they enjoy or a midlife career change.

"Making career changes and evaluating your career options is especially useful in today's economy," Hamilton said in a press release. "With all the complexities that the tough economic climate has created, perhaps one positive change is a second chance for many, an opportunity to leave a thankless, unsatisfying career behind and re-align oneself with the job of your dreams."

For those who desire a career in the culinary world, Love What You Do helps readers from the beginning stages of determining if it is right for them and seeking the right education and resources to ultimately landing their dream job. For the general career seekers and switchers, the book offers sound advice for those on the hunt.

With a foreword written by Tom Colicchio, chef-owner of Craft Restaurants, and endorsements from Master Chef Jacques Pepin and restaurateur Danny Meyer, Love What You Do gives an inside look on breaking into the culinary industry. In addition to profiles of real people who aspire to be in the culinary arts, as well as top chefs, the book will provide readers with:
  • a self-inventory that uncovers your goals, passions, strengths and weaknesses;
  • tips on handling the obstacles and doubts that coincide with job searching;
  • practical steps necessary to begin a successful culinary career, including culinary school; selection, on-the-job training options, paid/non-paid positions, and salaries/budgets;
  • decision-making advice for how to determine what positions/jobs are a good fit;
  • how to conduct an effective job hunt; and
  • what to expect within the first year and ways to excel.
Dorothy Cann Hamilton is the founder of the world-renowned 25-year old French Culinary Institute, as well as The Italian Culinary Academy. Both are housed by The International Culinary Center in New York City. Hamilton has educated more than 14,000 students in the culinary arts. Her awards include a 2006 International Association of Culinary Professionals Award of Excellence for Vocational Cooking School, the prestigious Ordre National du Mérite (National Order of Merit Award) from the French government. Recently, Hamilton was inducted into the Who's Who of Food and Beverage in America by the James Beard Foundation. Hamilton was the creator and host of "Chef's Story," a television series that debuted on PBS in April 2007, and authored the companion book. For more information, visit or

Thursday, December 3, 2009

FIU Hospitality hosts Common Threads

Florida International University's (FIU) School of Hospitality and Tourism Management is now one of the four national sites hosting Common Threads, an organization that teaches low-income children how to cook wholesome and affordable meals.

During the 2009-2010 school year, 32 students from North Miami's William Jennings Bryan Elementary School and North Miami Elementary School are participating in the program "Cooking Skills and World Cuisine," taught by restaurant owner/chef Michelle Bernstein and FIU chef-instructor Mimi Chacin. The hands-on cooking classes emphasize learning about new fruits and vegetables and the techniques to cook fresh, quality ingredients. Each lesson focuses on a different culture, and each class is designed to gradually build upon the student's skills. By the end of the 12-week session, the students will have learned how to prepare complete, healthy meals.
Children cook, eat and learn in the FIU kitchen

"We are so proud to host Common Threads at FIU School of Hospitality, said Dr. Diann Newman, who brought Common Threads to FIU. "As a university, we are dedicated to our mission of investing in our community. Change comes with vision, time, courage, experience and tenacity. We are gratified to work with chef Michelle Bernstein, students and administrators of William Jennings Bryan Elementary School and North Miami Elementary School and our School of Hospitality students to be part of the solution."

Common Threads was founded by chef, author and television personality Art Smith. For more information, visit

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Online Extras for November CET

Michael Ruhlman shares stories, lessons in new CIA podcast

In the latest "Insight from the Inside" podcast from The Culinary Institute of America (CIA), honorary graduate Michael Ruhlman talks about the unexpected path his career took after he came to the CIA in the 1990s to research his book, The Making of a Chef: Mastering Heat the The Culinary Institute of America. Ruhlman has since written a dozen more books about food, chefs and cooking, and worked temporarily in a restaurant kitchen. He received an honorary degree from the CIA in 2006.

"Insight from the Inside" is a series of chats with graduates who have exciting jobs in the food world. Previous podcasts have featured CIA graduates Grant Achatz, John Besh, Anne Burrell, Scott Conant, Cat Cora, Dan Coudreaut, Steve Ells, Duff Goldman, Johnny Iuzzini, Sara Moulton, Charlie Palmer, Michael Symon. To hear the 17-minute interview with Michael Ruhlman or receive future podcasts, visit

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Wolfgang Puck Worldwide donates cookware to ECU

Wolfgang Puck Worldwide (WPW) Inc. recently donated nearly 300 pieces of its professional-grade cookware to the Department of Hospitality Management at East Carolina University (ECU). The cookware will be used in the department's new state-of-the-art kitchen laboratory by students preparing for careers in lodging, food and beverage and convention and event planning.

James Chandler, associate professor of hospitality management, worked closely with WPW to facilitate the gift. "We are more than grateful to Wolfgang Puck Worldwide for the generous donation," Chandler said in a statement. "WPW has been an advocate of higher education for hospitality industry professional business managers, and this gift is further evidence of that commitment."

ECU's Department of Hospitality Management is in the college's School of Human Ecology. For more information, visit